Monday, August 9, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #11: The Counterfeits – Revelation 13-14

The Epistle of Jesus #11: The  Counterfeits – Revelation 13-14

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Introduction: The WWII Nazi Counterfeiters

At the beginning of World War II, the Nazis were looking for ways to weaken Britain and their economy. September 1939, there was a proposal to begin extensive operation which would use skilled counterfeiters to forge British pounds, then air drop them into England to be distributed and ultimately to bankrupt the Bank of England. Later in 1942 the Nazis used concentration camp prisoners who were skilled artists and prisoners to forge bank notes from the bank of England, these they used to bribe all their spies and saboteurs and to buy weapons. In all over $10 billion in today’s money was printed.

Today we are going to read from Revelation 13 about the Christ Counterfeit. He is called the Beast, and the Anti-Christ. He is a pseudo-savior, a masquerading messiah, and a lying lord. He pretends to be the savior of the world, sent by God to bring peace and an everlasting Kingdom. He is even able to stop the enemies of Israel with a peace treaty and he may even be responsible for rebuilding the Temple. He is the worst kind of evil, an evil that pretends to be good.

Here in Revelation 13, John like a spy writing to warn the nation of Israel and those who believe in Jesus, about the counterfeits they will encounter in the last world war, the war of Satan Against The Lamb of God.

Satan determined, after his failed coup, to destroy all that he could of God's creation, a war of attrition rather than a complete revolution. Satan especially sought to corrupt and destroy, God's highest creation, that creation that was made in His very own image, man. In order to execute this long game, Satan, over centuries and centuries, had to keep the truth from mankind. The truth about redemption, the truth about grace, the truth about hope couldn’t be seen, so Satan began to create counterfeit truths. Lies that sounded like truth, looked like truth but at its core, there was no redemption, no grace and no hope. These counterfeits of Satan, at their core were the deadliest, most damnable lies. Like a bottle of Tylenol that turns out to be strychnine, or a candy apple filled razor blades, Satan’s counterfeits were planted in order to trap and spiritual kill man.

Satan has always utilized this game plan of counterfeiting and corrupting the things of God in order to disrupt and destroy the creation of God and in Revelation 13 we see his greatest, his finest, but also his last, diabolical counterfeits.

Look at the first counterfeit from Revelation 13 vss 1-10 The Beast

The Beast from the Sea -  Revelation 13:1-10

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The Counterfeit Christ

Now we fully meet “The Beast”, the counterfeit Christ. The word for beast here is not at all the same word as the beast or creatures in the opening scenes of the throne room. That was word was the Greek work, Zoa, from which we get our word, zoo and zoology. That word means a created thing or animal. But this word, truly fits the English idea of a beast. This is the word therion, and if means a wild beast, a poisonous beast, a monster. This is the anti-Christ, Satan’s counterfeit of the Son of God and the Messiah of the Jewish people.

He rises Out of the Sea: The sea, used here in this symbolic passage, is the sea of humankind. We can see this in Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. The sea is mankind especially the  nations of the Gentiles.

From this we know that the therion is human. He is not a demon, nor he is not supernatural. He is a simply a man empowered and willfully possessed by Satan.

Here is his Description: He has Seven Heads. This is the same as the Dragon who gives him his power. The seven heads stand for the seven Gentile empires, the powers, that have ruled the world.

Some count these empires from Egypt to the revived Roman Empire of Daniel’s vision in Daniel 2 and that fits number wise but I think it should start not from Egypt but from Babylon, just at the vision did.

Here is how those kingdoms would breakdown.

Egypt – Assyria – Babylon – Greece – Roman – Revived Roman (Tribulation) – Anti-Christ.

But I think this is a better count. 1. Babylon – 2. Greece – 3 Roman – 4. Revived Roman – 5 Anti- Christ before His Deadly Wound – 6 The Woman on Scarlet Beast – 7. The 10 Kings who kill the woman and reign during the Beast’s absence –– 8 The returned Anti-Christ.

Where do those extra kingdoms come from?

Revelation 17:10–13 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Ten Horns with Ten Crowns all titled blasphemy. This is the Revived Roman Empire that will be in play just as the Tribulation begins. They are part of Satan’s kingdom and are first foretold in Daniel 2:42  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

Daniel 7 Daniel also talks about the Revived Roman empire and the beast in Daniel 7:7-8 Here we see the kingdom and the anti-Christ is called the “little horn) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

So the anti-Christ rises to power as one of the 10 King federation, from the countries of the old Roman Empire and he then destroys or takes the power of three of those kingdoms, probably by the wars that we saw all the way back in the opening of the first four Seven Seals, that showed the rider on the white horse.

Revelation 6:2-4 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Finally, John’s description of the Counterfeit Christ tells us that he had the characteristics of a Leopard, bear, lion with the dragon power. These are all descriptions from Daniel 7 of the empires of the world. So the anti-christ will incorporate all the worst of those pagan powers into his kingdom.

 And very important, John says that, one of the 10 heads is wounded as it were to death. The deadly wound is then healed and then continues for 42 months, 3 ½ years. He is given power to prevail against God’s people. He is worshipped by all kindreds, tongues and nation whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.

Something happens to the Beast, perhaps and assignation, perhaps a political or war loss, perhaps he dies, but whatever happens, he comes back. The Bible says he rises from the pit, and when he comes back, no one can stand against him. Now all the world believes that the counterfeit Christ, has come back from the dead, he truly must be the great hope for mankind.

Delusion: Paul may have been thinking about the anti-christ, perhaps even this very even when he wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

The world without faith in Jesus will be utterly deceived. They will be true believers in the most deadly counterfeits Satan ever created.

Primed For the Anti-Christ

We told you that Satan has been playing the long game, a war of attrition, attacking the creation of God bit by bit, people by people, nation by nation.

As part of that war he has used counterfeits throughout history. Satan doesn’t know when Jesus is coming back and so he has had to have a potential anti-Christ read at all times. I think it makes sense to see Hitler as one of Satan's counterfeits, a potential Beast. He fit all the prophecies, from the revived roman empire to the nations he invaded to come to power, to saying great things and making war on the people of God. He wasn’t the anti-christ, but what is truly sobering is that Satan has another Hitler ready to put into that anti-christ role right now, today. He always has. This is what John said…

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

This world is primed for the big lie of the Counterfeit Christ.

The world believes in evolution not creation. That man exists by random chance not by the direct creative act of God.

In 1933 The Humanist Manifesto was written to declare that man didn’t need a make-believe God, miracles, a savior or a heaven. It said things like… humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process. humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected. We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought.” Today most people in our world are humanist and see the world as devoid of God.

Because of that they have rejected almost all moral and ethnic teachings and law from God’ Word. Therefore in today’s world, the abortion of an innocent baby in the womb is not murder, while the actually murder of an individual is not punished by taking the life of the murderer. The most innocent among us are given death while the most guilty are given life.

Our society believes that homosexuality is not sin and that you can reject the way God created you and choose your own gender. The AMA recently called for gender to be removed from birth certificates, saying it has no basis in science. States like CA and NY have already taken gender off birth certificates.

In our own nation we see that riots are called peaceful demonstrations, while peaceful demonstrations are called attempted coups. In our society, anarchy is order, chaos is Freedom, and the most sickening sin is holy. In our world today, churches are evil, Christians are haters and God Himself is the real monster.

We are primed for the anti-Christ, all it will take is the right event and the right man and Satan already has the man ready to go.

The Beast from the Earth – Revelation 13:11-18

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The Counterfeit Forerunner.

The second beast is also called the False Prophet. He will be the anti-forerunner, the false John The Baptist to the False Christ of the Tribulation.

He arises from the earth and has 2 horns like a lamb but the voice of a dragon. He will perform miracles and as the forerunner to the Beast will cause people to worship the Beast. He will even create an image of the beast that comes to life. And cause people to worship this image or to be killed.

This image is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-22 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. … For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…

The false prophet will put that image in the Temple and that will be the clearly understood sign to the Jewish people that this cannot be their Messiah and they must run and they must hide.

Mark of the Beast The other significant thing that John tells us the False Prophet does in in Revelation 13:16–17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

However this mark will be put on or in people it will be necessary if they are to buy or sale anything. It could be as simple as a tattoo, it could be a RFID chip embedded in your hand, it could be an ultraviolet tattoo scan code that will only show under a black light. It doesn’t matter how its done, only that it will force the world to do what the Beast and the False Prophet tell them to do.

Does this sound farfetched? How could anyone in their right mind believe that such a thing would be okay? Well, all you have to do is take a look at the news and see how many people in this nation are calling for a vaccine mandate and a vaccine passport and once again realize how primed we are for the anti-christ. Politicians, news pundits and people on social media are calling for everyone to comply or not be allowed to shop, go to school or come out of their houses.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not making a statement about the vaccines being bad or that you shouldn’t get one. I’m certainly not saying they are the mark of the Beast. Wouldn’t that be ridiculous. Look on YouTube after services though and I’ll bet you can find some preachers saying just that. But not me, not at all.

Remember what we said about Satan always have a man to step in and be the anti-christ and only needing the right event to put him in place? Now I really don’t think Covid-19 is that event, but it will be an event or crisis like that. And when it happens, we as a society have already been primed for deception and the majority will say, “Sign me up. Put that beautiful mark right here.”

The Counterfeit Trinity. Final note about the False Prophet and his 666 mark

Here is John’s final warning about the mark of the beast. In vs. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The mark is the number of man. Man was made on the sixth day of creation, his number is 6. The mark of the beast will be 666. Now everything in this passage today has been symbolic and so I don’t think the mark will actually be the numbers 666 but whatever the mark is it will be an affirmation of man as elevated to the place of godhood. When they worship the beast or the image of the beast they are worshipping themselves, so why would they mind a reminder of that final ascending truth on their forehead or in their right hand. As Humanism’s creed shouts, “Man is the measure of all things!”

This is the last move in Satan’s game strategy. He will use the Beast and the False prophet to imitate the messiah and the forerunner. He will try and replace the True Trinity with a Counterfeit Terror Triad. This is why the number 6 is repeated three times. 666,the number of man is asymbol of the Unholy Trinity, The Devil’s Trinity. It will bring to Satan what he has always desired.

Isaiah 14:13-14 I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High!

This is the ultimate goal of humanism,  it will appeal to those upon the earth who so deeply and devotedly hate God. To worship the Dragon and the Beast is to worship themselves as beings freed from the power, authority and judgment of God.

This moment in the tribulation, when the Beast arises and the false prophet places that living image, that clone or robot in the most Holy Place of the Temple. Will be the darkest time the world has ever known. It will look like the Great Dragon who launched his first attack in the Garden of Eden, will finally have won. He along with the Unholy Trinity have achieved godhood and are being worshipped by all the world. God’s highest creation man has given themselves fully over to Satan and those who won’t worship are being killed by the millions upon millions or running and hiding. To them these last remnants of God’s truth, the world has become one vast minefield of Satanic wrath.

How can those people hope to beat Satan and his masterpieces of Counterfeiting? How in our own time can we hope to stop the humanism, the anarchy, the immorality, the delusional that makes people believe a lie?

Let me go back to the counterfeit money. Do you know how they train Treasury agents to spot counterfeit money? They don’t show them thousands and thousands of flawed counterfeits and have them identify each mistake. No that would be an impossible task. Instead, the agents are shows real money, the genuine article. They are taught about every colored thread, every watermark, every invisible writing and how the ink and the paper and the engraving points to the real thing.

How do we convince the world about the counterfeits. How do God’s people recognize the Antichrists of this present world? In the same way as the Treasury agents, by looking at the true Christ. By know Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh. When we see Him we see something that cannot be obscured or hidden by even Satan’s most cunning counterfeit.

And that is what happens next in the Epistle of Jesus, Revelation chapter 14. We are only going to touch on it this morning, but look what we see. Not the Beast from the sea, not the Beast from the earth, oh no now we see….

The Best from Mount Zion – Revelation 14

Revelation 14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The Lamb Stands

When it seems Satan has won, when it seems the people of God have lost and are reduced to hiding and fearing even to go out into the world. When it is the darkest day that the world has ever known. Jesus Stands Up.

Jesus Stands Up for his people. Jesus Stands up for Israel. Jesus stands up to rise to battle against the Unholy Trinity. Jesus Stands Up!

The Lamb of God stands on Mount Zion, he is not seen in the Temple now but outside on the mount of God and with him the 144,000 that have died in his service during the first half of the tribulation, their forehead bears the mark of God the father and they stand in honor with Jesus for the great sacrifice they gave. They stand in anticipation of what as if to say, “We are coming, and Heaven is coming with us!”

And heaven recognizes the significance of this moment for another of the great songs of Zion breaks forth in Revelation 14:2–3 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

What a moment, what glory to be there and hear that song played on heavenly harps that accompany the song of the 144,000 They heroes of God.


This Present Dark World

This world isn’t as dark as it will be during the Tribulation, but it is dark. The anti-christ has not seized power but as John said, “today there are many little anti-christs.” It may seem impossible to see our way to victory, to turn our family, friends and communities to the Truth. It may seem a lost cause to pray for a nation that has believed such great delusions and now believes the lies of Satan.

It may seem that way but the solution, is the same as we see in Revelation 14. Look to heaven, look to mt Zion. Look and see Jesus stand. Put our eyes on him, put our faith in Him, put our hope on his strong shoulders.

Do you need to see past the darkness, the lies, the deception and the counterfeits of the Dragon? Then look to the great shining truth, the great unchanging reality of the Son of God.

This is what Paul told the suffering Hebrew Christians in Hebrews 12:1-3 Listen to this spirit inspired words.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. …consider him! 22-29 …ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant… Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.


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